Friday, September 28, 2012

UPDATED Comprehensive October and Halloween Information from the Hawthorne Hotel

Halloween at the Hawthorne Hotel
Everything you need to know for now for October, 2012
Halloween and beyond!

Topics covered in this post, in the following order:
  • Haunted Happenings Parade
  • Hawthorne Hotel's Giant Pumpkin Display and Contest
  • "Stop by for a Spell" Children's Costume Brunch
  • Hawthorne Hotel's Annual Halloween Ball  ~~  "Solstice of Souls"
  • Special hours for Nathaniel's and the Tavern 
  • Reservations for accommodations this October, 2012
  • Reservations for accommodations for NEXT October 2013
  • More information links for other Halloween events
  • Accommodations contacts at other lodging properties in the area
Haunted Happenings Parade 

Thursday evening, October 4, 2012.

Starts at 6:30 pm, winds through Downtown Salem ending at the Common.  The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel is a great place for pre- or post-parade meals.  First-come seating, so come early.

Hawthorne Hotel Giant Pumpkin Display

Our Giant Pumpkin will be on display by the date of the parade, and our "Guess the Weight" contest will be available all month long.  Entries need to be made by visiting the pumpkin display which will be available through midnight on October 31, 2012, or for as long as "Jack" lasts.

The photos below are from prior years.

Annual Costume Brunch
Sunday October 21, 2012
“Stop by for a Spell" Children's Costume Brunch  11am - 2pm 

Children are encouraged to come in costume! Decorate pumpkins and receive Halloween treats. 

Live music and dance floor for children to dance to kid-friendly spooky music.

Details:   Adults -- $28.95 Adults, Children -- $16.50.
For more information and to make reservations (highly recommended)  call 978-825-4311  In some prior years we have done two of these, but this year we can only fit in one, and it will not be a really large one this year either, due to space constraints.  Don't be disappointed, make your reservations early.


Annual Halloween Ball
"Solstice of Souls"

The Biggest, Longest-Running, Most Fun Halloween Costume Ball in all of "Halloween Central" -- Salem, MA.  This event is the one that marks the absolute highlight of the Halloween season for us and for many of our guests who come every year.  This is the event that should be on everyone's "Bucket List".

Every year this ball is attended by approximately 1,000 costumed party-goers.  Each year we have a different theme, and this year it is "Solstice of Souls".

Time ~ 8pm-midnight (Doors open at 7:30 pm)

 Our Plan for Your "SOUL" for the Evening:

Food ~ Cocktail-style food all night long, featuring passed hors d'oeuvres and stationed cocktail food as well.  Anything you can eat with your fingers, and maybe even some "finger sandwiches", minus the bloody stumps of course!

Photographs ~ Photo stations in two places.  We will take your photo either individually or as a group, with multiple shots.  Photos will be available and completely free of charge, on-line, by the Monday evening following the Ball. If you were here last year, and missed "us" doing this for you, never fear. We are back!

Entertainment ~ Live band, "Hush" will be playing dance music all night long in the Grand Ballroom.  DJs will be performing in both Sophia's and the Library, with dance floors there as well, so virtually any kind of party music you can imagine will be available in those three areas.

Costumes ~ Everyone comes in costume, and there is a great costume contest which is the highlight of the Ball.  Cash prizes given for First, Second and Third place in both the Group and Individual categories.  Judges pass out wristbands to those costumes they have selected to participate in the contest.

Even if you don't get into the costume contest, the "people watching" is the best.

Wander ~ Cruise the different rooms where the party takes place.  Three levels of Halloween decor for you to check out, along with a different "vibe" in every space.

Souvenir ~ Each guest receives a souvenir tee-shirt with the logo of this year's ball, and the date, as a parting gift when they leave.  All size XL.

Drinks ~ Cash bars and beer buckets available all throughout the party.  ATM on site.

Age ~ Must be 21 and older to attend

Price ~ $90 per person

TICKET INFORMATION— Click on this link to go to , call 978-744-4080 to purchase your tickets, or come in to the front desk of the Hawthorne Hotel.

"Solstice of Souls" Theme features Adventure, Mysticism, Fantasy and Mystery

Costume Ideas ~ We will set the stage and it is up to each of you to fill it and this year our concept is a blend of reality (people, places and time) and fantasy (the mythology and lore) and as such there are many directions to take and consider when planning your costume.

Things You Must Know -- No weapons,  either real or fake, can come in to the Ball.  No outside alcohol or any beverage containers allowed in to the Ball.  Photo ID required at the door for admission.


ADDED October 8, 2012:

Some things just need to be even more comprehensive than others.  When it comes to passing out information about the biggest, best Halloween Party in all of Halloween Central, #SalemMA, you just can't be too informative.

So, here is some more information about the Theme of this year's party, and I am adding this to the BIG post you see here:


Theme ~ Adventure, Mysticism, Fantasy and Mystery

Costume Ideas ~ We will set the stage and it is up to each of you to fill it and this year our concept is a blend of reality (people, places and time) and fantasy (the mythology and lore) and as such there are many directions to take and consider when planning your costume.  If you plan to dress to the theme this year it is our hope to provide you with a little inspiration to get you going with a little push in two possible directions:
Reality--Relating to a specific time period such as Renaissance or Medieval England.

Visit these websites for more information:  

Fantasy--Gods, Monsters, Legends and Lore of Ancient Cultures and Lost Civilizations.

Visit these websites for more information:

What not to bring ~ We do not allow any weapons or items that look like a weapon. If we find a weapon as part of your costume, we will confiscate it and return it to you at the end of the evening. Also, no alcohol may be brought into the hotel. Any alcohol found on you will be confiscated and disposed of, and to that end, no beverages or beverage containers may be brought in to the hotel.  

More information ~ 
Please call us at 978-744-4080 with any questions.

Make-up assistance:

Makeup Artist GinC


Special Restaurant Hours

Saturday October 27

Breakfast in Nathaniel’s
Breakfast (menu) hours: 7am – 11am
Breakfast buffet hours: 9am – 12:30 pm

  • Adults $16.95, children under 12 $9.95, children under 3 are free

Tavern:   11am – 2pm   The Tavern will CLOSE to everyone at 2 pm on this day in order for us to get ready for the Ball.  Hotel Guests may order from Room Service.

Room service
From 11 am to 11pm

Sunday October 28

Breakfast in Nathaniel’s and Sophia’s

NOTE:  Very important!!  Reservations are an excellent idea as we anticipate being very busy this day.
Breakfast hours: 7am – 10am (regular menu)
Breakfast buffet: 9am – 1:00 pm

  • Adults $16.95, children under 12 $9.95, children under 3 are free

Sunday Jazz Brunch: The normal BRUNCH menu will not be offered on this date, but the breakfast buffet will be extended until 1 pm AND we will have entertainment on this date from 10am to 1 pm.

All-Day Dining in the Tavern

Lunch & Dinner in the Tavern:   11am – 11pm

Nathaniel’s for Dinner

Dinner in Nathaniel’s:   5pm – 9pm

Monday October 29

Breakfast in Nathaniel’s
Breakfast (à la carte):   6:30am – 11am


Reservations for overnight accommodations in October 2012

As of the date of this blog post, we still have some availability for nights in October, especially for mid-week dates.

The "Ball Package" for the nights of October 26, 27 and 28 is sold out.

Most weekends are completely sold out, so availability for those will be limited to any cancellations that might take place.

We have a three-night package for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, October 29, 30 and 31, and there is still some availability for that package as of this date.  In order to book that package, you need to fill out a special form and fax or email it in to us. Click on this link for the form: Reservations for October 29, 30, 31 Package  Directions are on this form.

For other nights in October, you might try our website to reserve.  Here is the link that will take you right to our own reservations page.  Hawthorne Hotel Reservations You will see the same availability for the hotel that our reservationists see on our website.  The only rooms that you cannot see there are the four rooms in our Fidelia Bridges Guest House.  For those rooms you should call the Hotel at 978-744-4080.

Reservations for overnight accommodations in 
October Next Year, 2013

Here is a link to the blog post I wrote in September about how to reserve a room for a weekend in October, 2013:  Thinking ahead to 2013  It contains all of the information you need to know.  The important thing to remember is that reservations for weekends in October require a one-night, NON-REFUNDABLE deposit.  You need to understand that the deposit is not going to be refunded for any reason, so if that is an issue for you, you should not make a reservation, or you should buy traveler's insurance from a reputable agency, in case you are unable to make the trip.

Other information for October and Halloween 2012 in Salem, MA.

Here are some links where you can obtain other information for your visit to Salem:

Haunted Happenings Haunted Happenings Website
Destination Salem for All Visitors to Salem, MA  Destination Salem
Salem Chamber of Commerce C of C
City of Salem, MA City of Salem October Calendar


Lodging Other Than at the Hawthorne Hotel

Emerson Inn-by-the-Sea, Rockport, MA

Here is a list of other lodging establishments in the area.  Our number-one recommendation for any property not located right here in Salem is The Emerson Inn-by-the-Sea in Rockport.  Their phone number is 978-546-6321.  The reasons for the recommendation are four-fold.  1) It is a lovely historic property right on the water.  2) They will take you to the commuter rail, and you can take the train right into downtown Salem so you don't have to fight the traffic, which can be mind-boggling.  3) They are nice people there, just like we are at the historic Hawthorne Hotel. 4) You won't have to find a place to park, because you can take the train here.  Seriously, avoiding the traffic and the parking issues, especially on the weekends in October is a HUGE deal.  

Rockport is approximately a 30-minute drive from Salem, and about an equally long train ride.

Here is a complete list of properties you can try:

·The Stepping Stone Inn: 978-741-8900 (across the street from the Hawthorne Hotel)
·Amelia Payson House: 978-744-8304
·The Daniels House: 978-744-5709
·Morning Glory B&B: 978-741-1703
·The Salem Inn: 978-741-0680 (NOW PET FRIENDLY!)
·Coach House Inn: 978-744-4092
·Henry Derby House: 978-745-1080
·Northey Street B&B: 978-397-1582
·Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina: 978-740-8788
·Clipper Ship Motel:  978-745-8022

·CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort: 978-777-2500 (Pet Friendly)
·Days Inn: 978-777-1030
·Courtyard by Marriott: 978-777-8630
·Comfort Inn North Shore: 978-777-1700 (Pet Friendly)
·Residence Inn: 978-777-7171 (Pet Friendly)
·Knights Inn by Cendant: 978-774-6500
·Motel 6: 978-774-8045 (Pet Friendly)

·Lakeview Motor Lodge: 978-922-7535
·Beverly Farms B&B: 978-922-6074
·Wylie Inn & Conference Center: 978-867-1800

·Peabody Marriott: 978-977-9700
·Holiday Inn: 978-535-4600
·Hampton Inn: 978-536-2020 (Service Pets Only)
·Homewood Suites: 978-536-5050 (Pet Friendly- $75 fee)
·Mainstay Suites: 978-531-5000

·Harbor Light Inn: 781-631-2186
·Marblehead Inn: 781-639-9999
·The Nicholson House: 781-631-0909
·Marblehead on Harbor 781-631-7967

· Emerson Inn By the Sea: 978-546-6321
· GREAT suggestion because they are near the commuter rail that comes into downtown Salem

·Sheraton Colonial: 781-245-9300 (Pet Friendly)
·Lord Wakefield: 781-245-6100 (Pet Friendly-occasionally)


I know this is probably the longest blog post we have ever put up here, but hope you find it worth perusing to see the information that is included.  Hopefully at least some of it will be of use to you, or to friends, or visitors from out of town.

I hope to see you here!



  1. Wow, what a comprehensive and complete post with some really terrific information! I hope that lots of folks take the time to read this and see the what/when/where/how and even why of Halloween in Salem!

    SO looking forward to being at the ball again this year, too!

  2. I will see you there. This is a halloween trip of a lifetime. This is my first time visiting Salem, attending the ball and staying at the Hawthorne. Any advice or suggestions on the local attractions?????

  3. Dear Saya,

    We are looking forward to having you stay with us for such an exciting time of year in October! We have done some research for you and there are many activities that you can attend and museums to visit. The most helpful website will be for more information.
    A few suggestions for activities taking place during the weekend of October 27th are the following.
    Lighthouse and Foliage Cruise 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    Haunted Harbor Cruise 1 pm – 7 pm
    Count Orlok’s Haunted House 3 pm – 8 pm
    Tales and Tombstones Trolley Tour 6 pm – 7 pm
    Spirits of the Gables at the House of Seven Gables 7:15 pm – 11 pm
    These are only a few suggestions; there are so many more activities that are going on! We are in the heart of Salem and all of the local museums, restaurants and tours are within a 5-10 minute walking distance from the front door of the hotel!